Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about. Luke 18:31-34 NIV
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:25-27 NIV
These two men had some significant evidence that Jesus had risen from the dead – as he had promised he would. The women had gone to the tomb, they had seen at least one angel, Mary Magdalene had actually had a conversation with the risen Jesus. The women had witnessed first hand that Jesus’ body was not in the tomb, just the burial cloth was there and the stone had been already rolled away when they had arrived at dawn.
Yet, these men on the road to Emmaus do not yet believe Jesus has risen from the dead. In fact, Luke tells us, “As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him,” Luke 24:15-16. Cleopas and his companion did not recognize Jesus even as he walked and taught them along the road.
What sort of conclusion do you draw from this? It was true in Israel at this time, a woman’s testimony would be suspect. But Peter and John also saw that the body was not in the tomb. The concept of resurrection from the dead IS a difficult one to believe. Perhaps, it is even impossible to believe unless God – Himself – is involved personally in the process of believing.
Perhaps the only way for these men to believe Jesus has risen from the dead was to first be taught by Jesus from the Old Testament scriptures, and, “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’” Luke 24:31-32.
These two men had a personal encounter with the risen Messiah, Jesus, their teacher and Lord. I think this is actually what happens with each of us. We have a personal experience with the risen Lord Jesus, who then enables our belief in the resurrection and in the truth that there is forgiveness for our sins. These men desired more time with Jesus, their hearts burned as he taught them. Do you? Do you desire to spend more time with Jesus, with His Word, praising Him, talking to Him, learning about Him and His desires for you and your life? Examine your heart and desires. Seek the resurrected Jesus today – He wants to spend time with you.